Just a little link dump on what I feel I should recommend among my readings and watchings today.
Today’s Democrats are nothing like Presidents Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy, who with courage and decisive action kept on top of their jobs and aggressively confronted one national defense crisis after another.
Jimmy Carter, elected during the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and (1) believing Americans had an inordinate fear of communism, (2) lifted U.S. citizens’ travel bans to Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia and (3) pardoned draft evaders.
Only 94 more to go as the column begins chronicling the ways in which the modern Democrats suffer in comparison to their historical predecessors, fine figures that I may have had domestic disagreements with but showed major spine on the international stage on our country’s behalf. Hat tip to Hyscience.
There is no doubt about Americansâ€™ patriotism. We consistently score higher than other countries on polls gauging how patriotic citizens are. We see this every Fourth of July as Americans proudly display the flag and sing the national anthem and watch fireworks.
However, there are some who are weary of our patriotism and they are not shy about telling us so. Howard Zinn, the leftist historian, advised us on the Fourth to “put away our flags” and to renounce “nationalism.” Mark Kurlansky, a popular historian, wrote how he was sick and tired of the Founding Fathers. Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks opined that she just didnâ€™t “understand the necessity for patriotism.”
I myself have no discomfort in questioning the patriotism — or wisdom and common sense, for that matter — of many of my fellow Americans on the far left. Hat tip to Wizbang!‘s Lorie Byrd, who receives a prominent plug in the piece.
There are innumerable positives in the Military Commissions Act of 2006, the new law on the treatment of enemy combatants that President Bush will soon sign. Among the best is Congressâ€™s refusal to grant habeas-corpus rights to alien terrorists. After all, the terrorists already have them.
That the critique on this entirely appropriate measure has been dead wrong is given away by its full-throated hysteria. Typical was Richard Epstein, a distinguished constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago, who admonished the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Bush administration and a compliant Republican Congress were unconstitutionally â€œsuspend[ing]â€ the great writ. The New York Times editorial board, in its signature hyperbole, railed that â€œ[d]etainees in U.S. military prisons would lose the basic right to challenge their imprisonment.â€ What bunkum.
First, Congress cannot â€œsuspendâ€ habeas corpus by denying it to people who have no right to it in the first place.
Quite right. It should also be noted that the overwhelming bulk of the detainees in question should not legally fall under the domain of any protections based upon the Geneva accords to which the United States is actually a signatory. In other words, both under domestic and international law, screw ’em. Hat tip to Raven at And Rightly So.
The first Western Enlightenment of the Greek fifth-century B.C. sought to explain natural phenomena through reason rather than superstition alone. Ethics were to be discussed in the realm of logic as well as religion. Much of what Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, and the Sophists thought may today seem self-evident, if not at times nonsensical. But that century was the beginning of the uniquely Western attempt to bring to the human experience empiricism, self-criticism, irony, and tolerance in thinking.
The second European Enlightenment of the late 18th century followed from the earlier spirit of the Renaissance. For all the excesses and arrogance in its thinking that pure reason might itself dethrone religion â€” as if science could explain all the mysteries of the human condition â€” the Enlightenment nevertheless established the Western blueprint for a humane and ordered society.
But now all that hard-won effort of some 2,500 years is at risk. The new enemies of Reason are not the enraged democrats who executed Socrates, the Christian zealots who persecuted philosophers of heliocentricity, or the Nazis who burned books. No, they are a pampered and scared Western public that caves to barbarism â€” dwarves who sit on the shoulders of dead giants, and believe that their present exalted position is somehow related to their own cowardly sense of accommodation.
What would a Socrates, Galileo, Descartes, or Locke believe of the present decay in Europe â€” that all their bold and courageous thinking, won at such a great cost, would have devolved into such cheap surrender to fanaticism?
Victor Davis Hanson is greatness once again, this time turning his guns on the Euro left and their current betrayal of the virtues of historical liberalism. Hat tip to Rightwingsparkle.
Dovetailing nicely with the above VDH piece is a video in four parts from Britainâ€™s Channel Five. So far I’ve only watched the first part but will catch the rest shortly. Already the piece does an excellent job of pointing out pointing out a wealth of historical hypocrisy coming from the Euro and global left, and I feel I can already label it as a must-see. Maybe it’s not a case of “know thy enemy,” but it certainly appears to be a case of “know those among you who play quite useful idiots for thy enemy.”